I know, it is so terribly tempting. You see it looming in the bathroom and can’t resist checking in with that digital confidence killer. I, like you used to have a specific number in mind that I needed to see. If I didn’t see what I was looking for, my nutritional and exercise routine would change dramatically and fast! Here is the problem with that my friends….thinking back to times in my life when I have been at my fittest, they simply do not coincide with a smaller number on the scale. Recently, due to some hip pain, I have had to steer clear of my beloved Peloton cycle or at least limit my riding to 1 or 2 days per week. Because of this I have been focusing on Yoga and strength training with surprising results.
Turns out I don’t need to kill myself with cardio 6 days a week to maintain my fitness. Yoga has had an amazing impact on my core strength and I am able to visually see my tummy flattening and toning and I am building long, lean muscles. I could easily fit into my tiniest skinny jeans and was feeling really good about myself. Then, one morning out of the corner of my eye, I see it. The scale! Even though I know it is a trap, I could not resist the temptation and like a dope, I hopped on that evil demon and held my breath. Guess what, it read 5 pounds heavier than the last time I weighed myself. UGH! I immediately felt like poop! I started doubting what I can see with my own two eyes and really beating up on myself. Those negative thoughts I am dedicated to avoiding started creeping in and doing what they always do, making me feel LESS THAN. Less than I should be, Less than I can be, Less than others. You know the drill. It isn’t a good place to be. I decided I needed to do some research and popped open my little pink Macbook. Here is what I found:
- Your weight fluctuates! Your body has a lot going on. It has stuff coming in and going out all day every single day. How much water you drank, how much sodium you have ingested, bowel movements, hormones, what time of day it is, etc. All of this can impact the number on the scale by as much as 5-10% of your body weight at any given time.
- Your weight doesn’t tell the whole story! Muscle weighs more than fat and needs more calories to fuel it. This is simple science folks. As we age we lose muscle mass and need to do more strength training to maintain our fitness level. A tape measure is a much better tool to determine fitness than the scale or as I mention above that particular pair of jeans. We all have them in our closet and when they fit you feel fantastic!
- The scale does not and should not define you! If you have recently made lifestyle changes that you are proud of you should not let a meaningless number steal your joy. For instance, if you set a goal to lose 25 pounds and the scale says you only lost 19 should you not still feel freaking fantastic?! You bet you should!
Finally, I feel that not weighing yourself is a gift of love you can give your mind and heart. If you are taking care of yourself by feeding yourself nutrient rich, clean foods. If you are moving your body with an exercise routine you enjoy. If you are doing your very best to care for this amazing body and life you have been given, then you don’t need to spend a moment focusing on a number that means nothing at the end of the day.
Hearts and Hugs…. Shawntelle
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